Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Just Kept Running And Running

As I mentioned before, I have found that the most therapeutic thing in the world for me right now is running. It's sort of in blood. My Dad has run all of his life. I ran in high school and my first year of college. My sister and brother even run.  Dad seems to pass this love of pounding the pavement on to al of his children. 

 In January, my sister let me know she was running a local half marathon here in town. While I had not been training and just had a baby months before I knew I wanted to help her.  SO much of distance is mental and time teaches you that.  So I knew I could do it having done it before and I did. That's not to say it was easy, it was not. I hit a wall HARD at mile 10 and practically crawled through the finish line, but no walking. We don't walk. It's just Dad's rule. 
After I did the half in January I knew the feeling I was feeling in my body. That high they talk about runners getting. I felt for the first time in months, some peace inside my body. 
I had to do it again. 
So just this past Sunday my sister and I ran another local half marathon.  As a teenager I hated challenges. As an adult I find I challenge myself on a daily basis. I love it. I thrive off of it.  Maybe it's the distraction, I don't know.  I have been training with my dad in the mornings to prepare myself and get back in shape after Paxton's birth.  3 kids 3 and under isn't pretty on the body and I am determined not to let it all go just because I am a Mom.  I get up at 4 am, feed Paxton, put him back to bed, dart out the door to make it to 5 am practice with Dad. I've been doing it for a little over a month now. I love it. I love his challenging work outs. I love the early morning hours when the world is still quiet and all I hear is the sound of my feet on the pavement or my Dad screaming "all out or we do another one." It's comforting. It reminds me of my high school days when my greatest worry was what I was doing that weekend. A decade later I still run on the same track with him that I did in high school and as I sprint my heart out in the wee hours, I think of how far I have come since then.  I think of how I had no idea that my life would be what it is today.  
Sunday was no different.  When I run, I go to this place, where all I have in those hours is time to think. To hope and pray. To plan and prepare. To get angry. To be happy. To be grateful To realize how far I have come in this life.  It's good for the soul.  I breathe in, I breathe out.  My pony tail swishes back and forth as if someone were patting me on the back.  It's rhythmic, like rocking in a rocking chair comforts us as a child, so does running to me as an adult.  I ran on Sunday. I ran hard.  I thought of all that has happened to our family these past 6 months. I got angry. It's not fair and yet it's been such a blessing.  I thought of the fear that gripped my heart just days prior as I waited to hear my son made it out of surgery.  I ran so hard. So fast (fast for me I should say =) I knew I should slow down, but I sort of just let it all out and knew when I hit my wall I could resume my normal pace.  Instead, I just kept running, hard.  I saw my Dad 200 yards away coming back to cheer me on.  I raised both my arms in the air at him like Rocky.  I was rocking it and he knew I was too! I know he was shocked to see me so soon.   It felt so damn good to have a release. Not crying. Just head to toe, body and soul release.  I finished 13.1 miles in two hours and forty two minutes. I beat my previous time by half an hour. My sister beat hers by 15 minutes.  I was so proud.  Mostly, just proud for seizing the opportunity and going with it. I felt good and I ran with it. I didn't hold back out of fear. I have learned that just recently.  Go and if you fall, well who cares as long as you fall trying. I am learning day by day, minute by minute that you cannot live life in fear.  While that is most certainly easier said than done, it is true and I know that.  So I am trying to enjoy each moment as it comes and I am learning that the best therapy there is in life comes from a pair of running shoes on my feet and the world before it was woken up.  

Before (It was super cold)
Just starting out (Only 13 miles to go= )
I can see the finish line at this point
To my lil sis,
Thank you for being the best running partner there is. Somehow, even at 14 you just know that it's my therapy. I feel that you too seize that time to reflect and I realize yet again how alike we are.  We can be completely silent when we run, yet we are so together.  At the end of 13 miles, I feel like we've said so much and yet we've said so little.  We just get it.  Love you!

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The Clinkscales Family said...

I thought I'd stop in and say "hello". I found your blog from Owen's blog and read it quite often. Congrats on your half marathon. I am running my first half marathon in April. I still haven't trained much so I'm hoping I can just finish it in the 4 hour time limit. It's going to be tough! But I agree...running has been therapy for me. I've never been able to run much but I've been able to do much longer distances lately just thinking about what all we have been through and how far we have come. We have a one year old with Hypoplastic Right Heart. Congrats again on finishing your race and with great time!!

Melissa G. said...

Way to go Jenn!!!

Mrs. H. said...

I loved this post! I just got back into running, and I ran my first 5k this morning, 13 years since my last race. I finished an unimpressive 37:25, but now I have a time to beat for the next race! I'm hoping to do a half marathon in October, and a 50k in late November. Running is awesome!

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